Program Overview


Sundays 9:00 am - 11:00 am for Kindergarten - 6th Grade
Sundays 11:45 am - 2:00 pm for 7th Grade

prgmovrvwThis weekly program, for students from kindergarten through grade seven, provides the skills, knowledge and experiences which are the basis of a strong Jewish identity. The completion of a four year course of study in Jewish topics is a prerequisite for becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah at BETC.  Jewish holidays, ethics, history, Torah, the land of Israel, the American Jewish experience, and spirituality/theology are among the major foci of the curriculum. Our approach is predominantly interactive and experiential with many opportunities for cooperative learning and socialization. Our Sunday School sessions for grades 3-7 also include a ½ hour of Hebrew Review time to reinforce Hebrew learned in our weekday Hebrew School Program.


HEBREW SCHOOL (Grades 3-7)

Wednesdays 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

This weekday program for students in grades three through seven, introduces our students to the language of the Jewish people. The completion of a four year course of study in Hebrew is a prerequisite for becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah at BETC.  Students are also expected to complete the full year of seventh grade hebrew, regardless of the timing of their Bnai Mitzvah.

Hebrew, reading, writing and prayer are introduced in 3rd grade using an interactive lively approach. The 3rd – 6th grade Hebrew curriculum places an emphasis on learning prayer-based Hebrew, with a secondary Modern Hebrew component. The 7th grade curriculum is primarily Modern Hebrew with emphasis placed on the joy of learning a vibrant, living language.

As a part of our Hebrew program, we also prepare students for meaningful and confident participation in congregational and home worship experiences. While mastering the Hebrew language skills required to participate in services, students will also study the structure, themes and inherent values of major prayers for Shabbat and the festivals. Throughout the program, students are also exposed to elements of Modern Hebrew through stories, dialogues, and conversation.

Snacks and Break

Due to the two hour length of the Hebrew School session, a short snack and break time will be incorporated into each day of Hebrew School. Parents are responsible for packing snacks with students on Wednesdays. For the safety of our students, snacks must not contain peanuts or tree nuts or peanut/tree nut oil ingredients. Healthy snacks are strongly encouraged.
Tutoring is available for Hebrew School only, in response to students and families who have extenuating circumstances or special needs. Enrollment in tutoring is done through the standard school registration form.  In cases where the student has no known special need for tutoring, a written application to the School Committee is required and eligibility for the program is determined by a review of the application.  Once a student is admitted to the program, BETC assigns an approved tutor and the curriculum parallels the Hebrew School program. For further information, contact the Director of Education.


Monthly attendance at Youth Kehillah Services or other BETC Shabbat services (9 per year) is required for students in grades 3 - 6.  These services, partially led by the students, offer our students consistent opportunities to worship and socialize with friends from religious school.  Youth Kehillah provides anothe rexcellent opportunity to practice and reinforce Hebrew prayer skills. 

Weekday Services: As a means of putting learning into practice, Bet through Hey (4th – 7th) Hebrew School students attend services every Wednesday from 5:25-6:00. All classes take turns presenting a d’var Torah (commentary on the Torah portion for the week). Classes will also take turns leading particular prayers during the service. Parents are very welcome to attend these services and tutored students are strongly encouraged to attend whenever possible.

Class Services: All students in Bet, Gimmel, and Dalet classes (4th  – 6th  grades) will have the honor of leading Shabbat services. Each class will lead a separate service or services during the school year.

 We have identified the following goals for our class services, and our developmental program reflects these goals:
- to enable students to practice their Hebrew skills and to lead the congregation in public worship
- to foster a deeper sense of community both within the class (parents/students) and between the class and the rest of the congregation
- to create a meaningful worship experience for the students and their parents while preserving the meaning of congregational worship
- to motivate attendance at additional worship services during the year


All students are expected to participate in class services as they are an important component of our Religious School program. If a student has a serious conflict with the service date(s), then he or she will be required to lead a prayer in a congregational service on an alternative date.  Please consult your school calendar for all class service dates.



The mitzvah (commandment) of tzedakah (righteous giving) is an important part of understanding Jewish values and putting them into action. Tzedakah is financial support for those in need. The students learn about reasons for giving tzedakah and are encouraged to participate to the extent that they are able.  Students in each class will select the type of agency they want to support (children, health, animals, feeding the hungry etc.).  They will then be given the names of one or two specific agencies and will research the agencies.  Individual classes will collect tzedakah on a weekly basis. At the end of the year classes will donate their money to their agencies.

As well as tzedakah at school, families are encouraged to give tzedakah together (just prior to Shabbat or holidays are traditional times).  We encourage every family to keep a home tzedakah box.  A fun family craft project could be turning a coffee can into a tzedakah container. 
In the winter, the school has a family Tzedakah Fair. All of our classes give presentations about the tzedakah agencies they are supporting.  Families bring their tzedakah from home, hear these student presentations, and donate to the organizations of their choice.  Parents are required to accompany children for this event. The Tzedakah Fair replaces Sunday school classes for that day.



It is not enough to contribute money alone.  Students will also explore the concept of g’milut chasidim – acts of loving kindness, and are encouraged to use their skills, interests and time to help others as a class or in individual projects.  Students will also be involved in the temple’s annual Mitzvah Day, when the entire Beth El Temple Center community comes together to participate in social action projects.





We are known as Am Ha'sefer (the People of the Book) and it's difficult to imagine a place of Jewish learning and living not centered on books. Our library is a precious resource both for the school and the congregation. Teachers may provide specific learning opportunities in the library, and we hope your family will utilize the wonderful resources available and specifically borrow from our children’s collection.